Genetic variation among African Swine fever genotype II viruses, Eastern and Central Europe

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African swine fever virus (ASFV) was first reported in eastern Europe/Eurasia in 2007. Continued spread of ASFV has placed central European countries at risk, and in 2014, ASFV was detected in Lithuania and Poland. Sequencing showed the isolates are identical to a 2013 ASFV from Belarus but differ from ASFV isolated in Georgia in 2007. African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating disease of domestic and wild suids, and there is no vaccine to protect against the disease. ASF is caused by a DNA arbovirus, African swine fever virus (ASFV), belonging to the family Asfaviridae; the virus genome is 170–192 kb long. ASF is endemic in sub-Saharan countries and in Sardinia (Italy) and has become more prevalent in Russia and the Caucasus region since its spread from eastern Africa to Georgia (in the Caucasus region) in 2007. The ongoing spread of ASFV to adjacent eastern European countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus, and the uncontrolled spread of the disease in Russia have placed the bordering areas of the European Union at high risk for the introduction of ASFV. In early 2014, the first cases of ASF in the European Union were reported; the cases occurred in 4 wild boars in areas of Lithuania and Poland that border the eastern European country of Belarus. To further our knowledge of the epidemiology and spread of ASFV, we determined the virus sequences of the ASFVs isolated in Poland and Lithuania by using international standardized procedures and by the analysis of an additional ASFV genome marker region characterized by the presence of tandem repeat sequences (TRSs). We report the genetic characterization of these ASFVs. Read more:  Emerging Infectious Diseases

July 8, 2014  Original web page at Emerging Infectious Diseases

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